Another month of COVID life passes in this new world we all find ourselves in. It remains a very trying time filled with anxiety, pressure, expectation and feeling overwhelmed – and that is just me! But it does make me proud of myself for batting on, and extra proud of the team for working their socks off to make sure the charity remains.
Yes, it has been challenging, but with a glass half full mentality, could there be some opportunities?
August brought about a number of project reports that needed completing to ensure continuation of funding, with the emphasis being on any necessary adaptations to delivery to maintain our support in the community; something that the scaled down Active Team did a fantastic job of. With the community at the heart of everything that we do, it was vital that we could still engage with the community which meant some creative “outside of the box” thinking.
We had a reintegration week at the beginning of August which was the first time the furloughed and active team “reunited” on a work perspective. This week was a great opportunity for general chit chat to catch up and to take part in a number of workshops with external partners around safeguarding, returning to work, and equality, diversity, and inclusion.
There was an NCS summer programme that was running for 3 weeks – the first experience back to delivering for some of the furloughed team. I got the chance to visit the site that they were delivering at (Portland College in Mansfield) and it was nice to see the young people taking part, fully engaged and not “put off” by a different experience i.e. social distancing, extra high hygiene standards, temperature checks, etc.
In preparation for returning to more face to face delivery from September, there has been lots of planning and talking with partners to ensure this returns safely and within government and NGB guidelines. Risk assessment and risk registers have been drawn up and checked by funders to authorise our restart. We ran a scaled down holiday provision for one week in the local area of the Meadows. It was great to be able to offer some sports provision for young people that have done little or no sporting activity and had limited interaction with others for a number of months. This also provided some much-needed respite for parents.
As we welcome September with open arms (socially distanced!) we will return to working with schools both digitally and face to face. We will also be implementing a phased approach to our cancer rehabilitation programmes and seeing our mental wellbeing programmes returning. The Portland Centre will have been back in operation for just over a month, providing a small sense of normality to members of the community during these unprecedented times. We will also be welcoming our new Sport and Inclusion Manager to the team to help with the challenges, embrace the opportunities, and get the glass from half full to simply full!!